[시사타임즈 = 이철원 시사타임즈 회장] When we arrived in Tacloban, the Philippines was on Christmas break. Although it is unimaginable in Korea, all government offices were closed and even the Philippine army was mostly on vacation despite the recovery from typhoon damage. It reminded me of 1998 when I was attending a military college in Manila, Philippines. When I visited the Southern Headquarters in Mindenao, Regiment A in the division was fighting the Muslim rebels, so a red flag was raised at the front door of the unit and the members were armed, but Regiment B, the adjacent unit, was having a party with a white flag raised. It was a shock to me that the entire army went into an emergency state even if there were several gunfights or even misfires at the GP in the DMZ, in contrast to our army.
When I was working in Timor-Leste in 2,000, I remembered that I had a hard time cooperating with UN agencies because they were on Christmas vacation. Even if it was not during the holiday period, if an agency went on leave, there was no one to act on behalf of the person, so the work was possible only after returning to the agency leave. So, if I reported to the domestic department that I couldn't carry out the work, I had to be cursed for giving it an excuse. It was not until January 3, after the Christmas holiday, that Palo City was holding a welcome ceremony for the Korean military, so I participated in the event early in the morning with some of the troops. However, the welcome event that started at 8 o'clock did not end at 10 o'clock. Why are there so many speakers and long speeches? It was like dying in the hot sun, and I felt dizzy and collapsed. It was an event to welcome us, but it was evident that we could not get up in the middle and that the members of the unit were also having a hard time. It was my first time, so I thought the event was going to be long, but it was a wrong idea, and the welcome event was just a prelude.
In any region of the world, there are cultures and customs that have been created through the experiences of thousands or hundreds of years of people living in that region. Without acknowledging and accepting this, it can be said that it is difficult to live in the environment of that culture and custom. In particular, in the case of dispatching overseas troops, the support and response of local residents is the key to fulfilling the mission, so the culture and customs of the dispatched region should be more respected. For this reason, one of the rules of conduct of the ARAW Unit was “We respect the laws of the Philippines and respect cultural and religious practices.”
Nevertheless, one of the most difficult things for me while living here was attending various commemorative events. It was painful to endure the sweltering heat while wearing military uniforms to hear the same speech for nearly two or three hours. When the speeches at various events usually held outdoors were long and lasted for close to an hour, the general attendees sat quietly, though they might be exhausted from the heat.
VIPs put up awnings or attendants provide umbrellas to block the sun, but considering the majority of general attendees sitting in the scorching sun, why not reduce the number of speakers as much as possible and, if necessary, include greetings from key attendees on information pamphlets, etc.? I've been thinking
And residents were waiting to attend before the planned event time, but the event was delayed because most of the main attendees were late. At first, I attended the event according to the time specified in the invitation, but after waiting 30 minutes, it became a suitable time.
Perhaps because the social leadership lacked a sense of time, it was common for many residents to not keep their time commitments. It was even more regrettable that this notion of time was preventing the growth and development of the Philippines, which has infinite potential.
글 : 이철원 시사타임즈 회장
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